Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award

WTD has embarked on a new – resurrecting the "Flying Fickle Finger of Fate" award to totally undeserving actors in US trade policy.

(Some background – the "Flying Fickle Finger of Fate"award was a regular part of the late 1960's, early 1970's Laugh-In show – a popular but silly and satirical hour-long program on the NBC network. The award was usually handed out by Dick Martin to mostly political folks in the Nixon Administration for really dumb decisions.)

WTD’s first Flying Fickle Finger of Fate award goes to the Washington International Trade Association which last evening gave its own Lighthouse Award to Inside US Trade exuberant chief editor Jutta Hennig.

What WITA does not know – or maybe does – is that Ms. Hennig spent most of the day yesterday at the Senate Finance Committee covering the mark up of a bill granting permanent normal trade relations for Russia, along with a handful of other trade-related legislation. And much of that time she spent in her usual verbose style disturbing other reporters, including this one, who were trying to listen by asking: "who is that?" "what are they doing now?" and "what amendment is that?" Decorum please!

WTD and Inside US Trade also went head-to-head last week on covering the latest meeting of the TransPacific Partnership negotiations in San Diego.

Inside Trade stories –

TPP Seen As New Key Venue for ACTA Enactment

USTR in Talks on Greater Access to TPP Texts for Congressional Staff

US Does Not Propose Expected SOE Language That Could Impact Temasek

US Touts Progress in San Diego

AFL-CIO Pushes TPP Partners To Include Migrant Worker Provisions in Deal

USTR Notifies Congress that Canada and Mexico Will Join TPP Talks

USTR Still Mulling Agriculture Group Demands for Full Enforceability of TPP SPS

WTD stories –

Working on TPP

TPP Negotiations in High Gear

A US Copyright Proposal

TPP Labor Chapter Progress

Pressing On in San Diego

Notifying Mexico on TPP

TPP and Transparency

Some ‘Significant Progress’ in San Diego

White House Notifies Congress on Canada

I’m not saying WTD deserves the WITA award or even wants it. We don’t accept awards – only payments for subscriptions and "free" lunches.

Not sour grapes. Just a little fun with a colleague I’ve known for some 25 years.

Jim Berger


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Jim,

    I thought the fickle finger of fate was what men had to endure annually after their 40s. After 25 years I've finally learned something from your newsletter. Just kidding buddy!

    But seriously you are terrible at writing headlines.

    Gary Yerkey

  3. Jim,

    I totally agree with your stance on not accepting awards.

    George C. Scott

  4. Jim,

    If WITA does give you the award, I'd be glad to accept it on your behalf.

    Sasheen Littlefeather

  5. Jim - between your grading of the Administration on trade and your characterization of Jutta, you are on a roll. Keep it up!
    Gary Blumenthal